Tag Archive: death


Rapture.

I’m sure that all of you must have heard about the fact that the end of the world will begin tomorrow. A Christian group is saying that tomorrow Christ will come to the Earth and take with him the souls of his true followers. As they ascend to Heaven, the rest of us heretics will burn in “death, disease, and destruction.” However, their suffering will only last for six months, because the world will actually end on October 21st. I, as a non-Christian, am slightly appalled by this statement. How can a group of people place themselves above us, and doom us all to torture while they reach the pearly gates? Why are we unable to go to Heaven with them? To me, it seems like a clear case of discrimination based on religion. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Bible say something about treating everyone fairly and equally? It just seems a bit weird that Jesus would take a select few people with him, and leave the rest of us to die.

The sad part of this whole ordeal is that people are following this lunatic (Camping).  Mr Camping previously predicted the end of the world in 1994. When it didn’t happen, he stated that he made some “mistakes in [his] calculations.” Now, however, he states that his calculations are perfect, and that there is no chance that the Rapture will not occur tomorrow. Even so, thousands of people all over the world have quit their jobs, sold their houses and cars, and generally divested themselves of all of their material possessions so that they will be taken by Christ. These people are also draining their savings to fund this group. If the Rapture occurs, and they are not taken, their lives will be over anyway. I, for one, don’t give a damn. People are too impressionable, and if they decide to throw away their lives on the chance that the world may end on May 21st, then let them. It’s just Darwinism in action. Hopefully the gene that causes them to have this much stupidity will be weeded out of the general population, and will not allow idiots like Camping to gain more followers in the future.

Here’s to May 22nd.

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I.Q. #1

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
-George S. Patton, Jr.

Positivity.

I realized a while ago that I missed a key point in my last post. I forgot to say that we all enjoy life more once someone we know has it taken from them. We start to appreciate the beauty that is present in our surroundings more and more, each and every day. From this thought, an idea began to form in my head. I have decided to post, every day, one thing that made me happy. No matter how glum I feel, or how busy I am, I will do this regularly, even if it is just to remind myself why God gave me five senses, and why he made the world so beautiful at the same time.

New Year.

Before I begin, I would like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year, and I hope that they achieve any and all goals that they set for themselves in this coming time.

It’s been a long time since I made my last post, and there are a number of reasons for this, which I will explain.

The year 2010 was filled with sadness for me, from the beginning to the end. There were some happy moments, but sadness was still, unfortunately, prevalent. It began with the death of my grandfather near the beginning of February. He was suffering from prostate cancer, and had been bedridden since October of 2008. Normally a very active man, this confinement would have come as a great discomfort to him. He lived in India with the rest of my family, where he was a logger. He would first go out into the forest every day, in the mountains, and walk about 40 kilometres one way to his site, where he would select certain trees for tapping. After extracting the sap over the course of a few days, he would then select trees to be cut down. Now, it is a Hindu superstition that trees should not be cut down, because they are the givers of all life. This superstition has been around for centuries, and we now know that trees produce oxygen, which, indeed, gives us life. When my grandfather got sick in 2008, he was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with stage-four prostate cancer. However, he was never told of this diagnosis. Instead, he was told to rest in bed until he felt better. Our entire family knew about his illness, except for him. They later told me that he was not a strong willed man; had he known about this terminal disease, he would have given up all hope. When we met him in August of 2009, he was weak, frail beyond all belief. Gone was the man who had walked among the trees in the mountains with a confident stride. Instead, all that remained was a sick old man, who could not even walk 20 steps without the help of a cane. So advanced was his disease, yet no one told him about it. In hindsight, I believe that he knew about it, or at least guessed that he was not going to get any better. Any human will guess their condition if they have not been able to leave their bed in almost a year. I spent as much time with him as I could, and he gave me a piece of advice that I will remember forever; there are more people on this planet who will lead you onto the wrong path, than there are people who will lead you onto the correct one. Therefore, he said, you must cherish any and all the people who choose to take the time out of their own lives in order to help you create a better one for yourself. When we left him at the end of August, I knew, along with my parents, that this was the last time that we would see him alive. In my memory, I try not to remember the emancipated skeleton that he became due to his disease. I try to remember the strong man who would carry me around on his shoulders all day when I was a child. His wish was for me to become successful in life; I shall not disappoint.

Fast-forward through an eventful year to November 30, 2010. This is the day that the son of my favourite aunt was born. Everyone in my family was extremely excited, because my aunt had only been married for little more than a year. Gifts were bought, phone calls exchanged, congratulations posted on Facebook, the whole deal. But that all changed soon.

On December 13, 2010, the lives of my aunt, her husband, and their son were taken in a brutal car accident by a drunk driver. Our happiness was burst like a bubble. Gone were the smiling faces of my family. Gone were their good moods, and the plans for Christmas and New Year’s parties. Instead, we packed our bags and were on a plane to India the next day. We didn’t know much about the accident, only that it was a collision between two cars. When we arrived in India, I was told by my mother that no one had yet told my aunt’s mother that she was no more; only that she was in a hospital. Once again, my relatives in India did not believe that she would be able to take such a shock, as they did with my grandfather. We arrived in India on the day of her funeral, which we were unable to attend. When we went to visit my aunt’s mother (my grandmother) a few days later, I was shocked to see how weak she had become since the death of her daughter. Mother and daughter used to do everything together. In fact, they were together on the day of the accident, during which they had lunch and enjoyed their time together. My grandmother went home by bus, because she had to go to a different place than my aunt was going with her family, and I believe that if she had gone with my aunt, she would have also passed away. The fact is, my grandmother had also had a serious accident 3 years ago, during which my aunt had nursed her back to health single-handedly over the course of 4 months. This only deepened their connection with each other.

Over the course of our stay with my grandmother, we got to know more details about the crash from my aunt’s brother. Details such as the fact that the other driver was drunk, driving rashly, and had done drugs came to light. I learned that my uncle had been travelling at a safe speed of 60 kph, for my aunt had still not recovered from giving birth to her son. At a rest stop, she switched seats with her sister-in-law, who had been sitting in the front seat. My aunt sat in the front seat, called her brother and told him that she was going to sleep, and that she would call him when she got home. She gave the baby to her sister-in-law to hold in the backseat (because there are no carseats for children there), and fell asleep. About 7 kilometres from their home, a large truck approached them in the oncoming lane. My uncle did not see this as a cause for worry, and he kept driving. Behind the truck was the drunk driver, going at a speed of 120 kph. Now, roads in India aren’t like the roads in North America; there are no dividers in between the opposite lanes, and there are almost no rules to speak of. To overtake large vehicles, drivers honk their horns to alert the truck in front, and then proceed to pass. This is what the drunk driver did. He honked, and swerved into the lane in which my uncle was driving. Witnesses say that there was a horrific crash, and that it was so forceful that the radiators in both cars exploded out from under the hoods. So forceful was the impact that my uncle’s car flew off the road and onto the grassy, unpaved portion, about 5 meters away. My uncle was killed instantly, the steering column having smashed his jaw. My aunt died on the spot as well, from a brain hemorrhage. Her child was pressed against the shoulder and chest of her sister-in-law; his death came from internal bleeding caused by the fracture of almost all of his ribs. The sister-in-law survived, however, as did the driver of the other vehicle, with broken limbs.

When someone you know and love is old, sick, and weak, you are expecting their death. That’s not to say that you want them to die. I’m saying that you’re prepared for an old man to pass on, both physically and psychologically. However, when an entire family, whose oldest member is only 25 years old, is wiped out by a careless driver, you start to sink into shock. The people that you talked to a week ago, a day ago, a few minutes ago, are now gone, and they will never return to you. The pain that one feels is so damaging, that it is safe to say the affected individuals are never the same again. And in all honesty, how can they be? An old woman just lost her daughter in the prime of her life, an older brother just lost his baby sister, 4 children just lost a beloved aunt, and countless friends just lost a near and dear one. It makes you start to wonder about how much we really value our lives as individuals.

Our home in India is in a city in the mountains; there is a narrow, almost two-lane road, that leads to it. Whenever we go to India, I keep count of all the possible accidents that we avoid. This time, I counted 15, in a 3-week period. We were almost run off the road by a truck, almost had a head-on collision with another car, almost got run over by a large truck driving in a thick fog without headlights, to name a few. It made me realize that I have lost the value of life by living in a developed country. In Canada, we hear about people getting in car accidents, and getting injured or killed, in the news on a daily basis, but we cannot relate to the suffering that these families are put through unless it happens to one of our own. We have become so desensitized to these issues by daily media that when it happens to us, it affects us profoundly. After the death of a loved one, we rush to their houses, no matter where they may be, in order to console the people that they left behind, and in our case, to meet with my aunt’s in-laws for the first time. Why can’t we rush in the same way when these people are alive? Why can’t we take the time out of our lives to go and meet these people and enjoy life with them? The answer is simple: because we take life for granted. We, as humans, feel safe in our little corner of the universe, and we believe that we cannot be harmed by anyone. Each of us has felt invincible at some point in our lives; it’s the same feeling that drives thousands of men and women to war every year. Once a friend or family member passes away, we start to realize what we’re truly missing in life. Personally speaking, my biggest fear is to die with regrets, without completing everything that I set out to do. After the death of a person who was so close to me, I discovered all the moments that we should have spent together, that we will never have the opportunity to spend together again.

My biggest regret is that, in over a year of her marriage, I never even met her husband, my uncle. How do you grieve for someone you do not know? I talked to him on the phone, sure, but the man is gone now, and I will never see him in my life.

So to all the people who have read through my anecdote, my main message is this. Live life to the fullest, and accomplish all the goals that you set for yourself. Don’t ignore anyone, or cut anyone out of your life; forgive and forget. Life is too short to be lived in seclusion. Life is too precious to be kept to yourself. Share your life with your friends and your family, because you never know when the day is coming when you wake up to a phone call saying  you can never share with them again.

 

TOK Assignment

I did this assignment for my Theory of Knowledge teacher, at  3 AM, in about 15 minutes. I wonder what I got on it?

Truth: TOK

The famous poet Oscar Wilde once said “Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.” In my personal opinion, I believe that truth can come from science as well as religion. Children all over the world are taught the most current truth every single day, through the medium known as education.

Mathematics is a very logical subject. That is, if one chooses to stay with numbers, and not deviate to anything else. To many people, mathematics is the epitome of truth in education; one plus one will always equal two, no matter the circumstances. However, a memorable example that I have heard states that “one plus one makes a baby, which equals three.” As far as logical truths are concerned, mathematics does an excellent job in conveying them to the mass public. The laws of mathematics have been proven many times during the course of history, by mathematicians ranging from Archimedes to Fibonacci, and continue to be proven by students all over the world. Mathematical laws only change to encompass new findings; they do not break down completely, or become obsolete once new calculations come to light.

Biology, the study of life, is naturally expected to provide the public with a measure of the truth. We now know the true reasons for our ailments, viruses and bacteria to name a few, as opposed to the past ideologies of evil humours residing within the body. Biology is a rapidly changing science, which adapts itself to new findings almost on a daily basis. However, this does not mean that the laws of biology will disintegrate once new findings are made public. Laws such as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution will remain constant throughout time, unless someone can prove the existence of God, and from there, provide the truth behind a Creation myth. To people in the past, even in the 20th century, common old wives’ tales provided the basis for their medical truths. As an example, many medieval doctors believed that “bleeding” the patient through the use of leeches would lessen the pressure of the humours inside their head, thus alleviating their headache. To these doctors, this practice was the truth, as it seemed to work when it was applied numerous times. We now know that this would have reduced the blood pressure in the head of the patient, which may have caused a brief cessation of pain. Different practices such as this were common truths for medieval healers, and have adapted into the truths we know today. They did not disappear completely; they were changed in order to fit with the new research that is constantly being conducted.

History is one subject in which the facts are undeniable. In most cases, there is a plethora of evidence to prove that the event either occurred or did not occur. Eye-witness accounts, journal entries, historical books, video reels, audio recordings, have all helped to shape our knowledge of our own past. However, to quote Winston Churchill, “History is written by the victors.” The knowledge that we receive in our old texts may be completely false, as they could have been written by the winners of a war, who proceeded to destroy all of their enemy’s texts. Even within a subject with such a vast resource base, discrepancy exists. For example, some sources state that Grigori Rasputin, after being poisoned and shot, drowned in a river, while others state that he died of hypothermia, while still others state that he died of pneumonia. Though these causes of death do not differ greatly, it proves that we may never know the real truth of our pasts. Though we have the resources to provide us with all the information we need, we have no way of knowing which one of the sources is the real truth, or if they all are. It is perfectly possible for Rasputin to have contracted pneumonia before his death, become hypothermic by falling into a river, and then drowning after he fell unconscious in the late stages of hypothermia. The real truth may always remain a mystery to modern day historians.

Once upon a time, religion was the truth for most people on the planet. Once your Supreme Pontiff said the Universe revolved around the Earth, that became the truth, no matter how much scientific evidence mounted against that theory. In fact, criticizers of the Catholic Church were often burned as heretics, simply because they had their own opinion of the truth. There are Biblical references to the immobility of the Earth, such as Psalm 104:5, which states “the Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” Because of statements such as these, the Catholic Church’s belief that the universe was geocentric was widely accepted. In fact, when Galileo Galilei contradicted the Church’s “truths” in 1632, he was convicted of heresy and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

The “truths” that are present in religions are often false. At the very least, they seem false to us because we do not have the capability to scientifically explain some aspects of religion. It is for this same reason that many people believe wholeheartedly in these religious truths. Some of these truths may never be fully explained through science, and it will be left for future generations to decide whether these statements by religions are really truths at all.